By Rob Davis The Oregonian Dec. 18, 2014
The Columbia River Gorge Commission won't grow after all.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee didn't match Oregon's proposed budget boost for the interstate agency responsible for protecting the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area and planning growth within it. Inslee kept the commission's funding flat.
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber's budget proposed nearly doubling Oregon's spending on the commission, adding $768,000 to allow the five-employee agency to hire four more people to plan the gorge's future -- including how to address risks like the rise in oil and coal shipments.
The gorge has become the Pacific Northwest's main route for mile-long oil trains carrying volatile North Dakota crude to West Coast refineries. As many as 19 trains a week each move more than 1 million gallons of oil along Washington's side of the Columbia River.... read more here
Rob Davis The Oregonian Dec. 17, 2014Wyoming and Montana, two major coal states, will be allowed to participate in an appeal of Oregon's permit denial for a Columbia River coal export terminal.
The permit, which Oregon's Department of State Lands rejected in August, is a key barrier for a project proposing to connect large coal deposits in Wyoming and Montana's Powder River Basin with potential buyers in South Korea and other Asian countries..... read more here
Daily Kos Dec. 18, 2014
Another day, another toxic spill thanks to fracking:
About 25 families in eastern Ohio have been unable to live in their houses for the past three days because of a natural-gas leak at a fracking well that crews cannot stop.
Bethany McCorkle, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the state agency that regulates oil and gas, said crews lost control of the Monroe County well on Saturday. […]
The well is not on fire, but the gas could be explosive.Ohio has had its share of fracking accidents this year. In May, a blowout resulted in an oil spill into an Ohio river tributary. And then this happened the following month:... read more here